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经济学人:愚蠢至"机"(1)

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Aviation

航空
Plane stupid
愚蠢至“机”
Private jets receive ludicrous tax breaks that hurt the environment
私人飞机破坏环境而又享受荒谬可笑的税收优惠
The blue jeans and T-shirts of the global elite are no more comfortable than those worn by the middle class. They drink the same coffee, watch the same films and carry the same smartphones. But a gulf yawns between the rich and the rest when they fly. Ordinary folk squeeze agonisingly and sleeplessly into cheap seats. The elite stretch out flat and slumber. And the truly wealthy avoid the hassles and indignities of crowded airports entirely, by taking private jets. This would be no one else’s business but for two things. First, private jets are horribly polluting. Second, they are often—and outrageously—subsidised.
世界精英的蓝色牛仔裤和T恤衫并不比中产阶级的更舒适。他们喝同样的咖啡,看同样的电影,用同样的智能手机。但富人和其余人在乘坐飞机的时候就会拉开鸿沟。普通民众痛苦而又失眠地挤在经济舱。精英平躺着安眠。而顶级富豪们则乘坐私人飞机,完全避免了拥挤机场里的争吵和不堪。这本不关别人的事,但有两点引起关注的原因。第一,私人飞机污染严重。第二,私人飞机经常会得到补贴,而且数量惊人。

Private jets receive ludicrous tax breaks that hurt the environment.jpg

Private aviation was hit hard by the global financial crisis, when both companies and individuals sought to pare expenses. But now private jets are booming again. This is partly because new booking services and shared-ownership schemes are cutting the cost of going private and luring busy executives away from first-and business-class seats on scheduled flights. But the boom is also a result of tax breaks, which are even more generous than those lavished on ordinary airlines. In Europe firms and individuals can avoid paying value-added tax on imported private jets by routing purchases through the Isle of Man. This scheme has cut tax bills by £790m ($1bn) for imports of at least 200 aircraft into the European Union since 2011. America’s rules are loopier still. Donald Trump’s tax reform allowed individuals and companies to write off 100% of the cost of a new or used private jet against their federal taxes. For some plutocrats this has wiped out an entire year’s tax bill. For others, it has made buying a jet extraordinarily cheap.

全球金融危机重创了私人航空业,私人航空公司和个人都试图削减开支。但如今私人飞机又开始蓬勃发展。一定程度上是因为新的预订服务和股权分享计划正在降低私人飞机的成本,并吸引了乘定期航班头等舱和商务舱忙碌的高管们。但这种繁荣也是税收优惠的结果,对于私人飞机的税收优惠甚至比普通航空公司还要慷慨。在欧洲,公司和个人可以在马恩岛购买进口私人飞机,从而避免缴纳增值税。自2011年以来,该计划已将至少200架飞机的进口关税削减7.9亿英镑(合10亿美元)。而美国的规则更荒唐。唐纳德·特朗普的税收改革允许个人和企业将购买一架新私人飞机或二手私人飞机的全部成本抵减联邦税收。对一些富豪来说,这已经抵消了全年的税单。而对于其他富豪,这使得购买飞机异常便宜。

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
squeeze [skwi:z]

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v. 压榨,挤压,塞进
n. 压榨,勒索,榨取

 
avoid [ə'vɔid]

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vt. 避免,逃避

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pare [pɛə]

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v. 剥,削,消减

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global ['gləubəl]

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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

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elite [ei'li:t]

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n. 精华,精锐,中坚份子

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ludicrous ['lu:dikrəs]

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adj. 荒谬的,可笑的,滑稽的

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scheme [ski:m]

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n. 方案,计划,阴谋
v. 计画,设计,体系

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plane [plein]

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adj. 平的,与飞机有关的
n. 飞机,水平

 
environment [in'vaiərənmənt]

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n. 环境,外界

 
reform [ri'fɔ:m]

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v. 改革,改造,革新
n. 改革,改良

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